Music Reviews

Cafe Tacuba

Vale Callampa


Dios mio, they’re back and they mean business. I love Cafe Tacuba and all their works, but the last time they were heard from (the double pop/experimental album Reves/Yosoy) this Mexico City quartet sounded like they didn’t know which way to turn: freaky or beautiful? Then they took three years off, contributing their powers to works by Julieta Venegas and Celso Pina and a whole bunch of other people. But with this EP, they announce that once again, Cafe Tacuba is a force to be reckoned with.

Okay, so it’s only four songs, and they didn’t write any of them: they’re all by the (no longer extant) Chilean group Los Tres. And none of the songs are especially challenging or anything. But dammit if my Tacubistas don’t make ‘em all sound amazing nonetheless. “Dejate Caer” is layered and lovely; “Olor a Gas” is kinda beautiful with its four-part harmonies; “Amor Violente” has some flatulent synthesizers and an overdriven fake-El Vez vocal performance by Ruben Albarran, who is here calling himself Rita Cantalagua a.k.a. Gallo Gasss; and “Tirate” closes things off in a quietly intense way. Seventeen minutes and twenty-two seconds of pop perfection.

But the best news isn’t found on this EP, but in the accompanying press release: Cafe Tacuba is releasing a new album in 2003! Yep, and they’re using four different producers instead of just getting complacent with good ol’ Gustavo Santaolalla! I’ve already got a place in my 2003 Top Ten reserved for this! I’ve gone exclamation-point happy! Woo-hoo!

Which is not to take away from this record, which is dope. But come on – a new LP means that the best band in North America isn’t breaking up just yet. That’s freakin’ great. Celebrate!

Cafe Tacuba:

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